White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows just confirmed on Monday that there will be no national face mask mandate, contrary to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) desires.
Nancy Pelosi, among many other prominent Democrats, has been agitating for a federal mask mandate for over a week now, but Donald Trump remains steadfastly resistant to the notion.
White House says “no”
In a Monday morning appearance on “Fox & Friends,” Meadows was asked whether the federal government is likely to step in an issue a nationwide directive for all Americans to wear face coverings in public.
Meadows responded that such a mandate is “not in order,” indicating that decisions about face mask requirements will be left up to state and local leaders.
“Well, it’s certainly a state-to-state issue, as we look across the country, obviously the narrative is the COVID cases are rising, but testing is rising exponentially. We’ve now tested almost 10 percent of our country,” Meadows said.
“And yet when we look at masks and the wearing of masks, that’s done on a location basis, when you can’t have social distancing, but certainly a national mandate is not in order,” he continued. “We’re allowing governors and mayors to weigh in on that.”
Though Trump remains unwilling to go as far as issuing a nationwide mask order, the president has softened his messaging on face masks recently.
As cases rise in many states, Trump signaled that his previously ambivalent position on masks has shifted.
Trump said last week that he is now “all for” masks, and said that he would wear one if he is in a group of people where social distancing is possible. Trump has resisted wearing a mask since the outset of the pandemic due to the fact that he is tested every day for the virus.
Pelosi recently attacked Trump for his decision to not wear a mask in public, saying last week that a nationwide mask mandate is “long overdue.”
Trump dismissed Pelosi’s advocacy for a mask mandate, telling Fox’s Blake Burman on Wednesday that “I don’t know if you need mandatory, because you have many places in the country where people stay a very long distance. You talk about social distancing. But I’m all for masks.”
Many states have issued their own mask mandates, including California, Texas, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Kansas, and many others.